Think back to the days when you thought building a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo would cost you your fortune? Wait, do you still? No wonder people call you old school! Let me say this: Nowadays it is very easy to create a crowdfunding website.
Kickstarter and Indigogo’s top projects have raised millions of dollars, proving that the market is absolutely there to fund the crowd.
You can do this with WordPress – just adding a WordPress crowdfunding plugin provides enough functionality to create a full range of crowdfunding sites in less than an hour. There are lots of crowdfunding plugins out there, but since you are a busy person and researching on your own will be very time saving,I offer you my favorite advice: WP Crowdfunding, the best-selling plugin in the WordPress category.
WP CrowdFunding Plugin Features
WP Crowdfunding is fully based on an eCommerce website, which lets you to use your familiar WooCommerce interface in the backend. Your campaign owners don’t have to worry about roaming on the dashboard because this WordPress crowdfunding plugin comes with a front-end submission form for submitting their promotions and many other frontier benefits to run their campaigns properly.
I will first list the features for free and then tell you what items will be offered when you pay the premium.
- Frontend submission forms for projects – users can promote crowdfunding campaigns without using the WP-Admin dashboard
- Rewards system for those who fund this campaign (limited to one prize per campaign for the free version).
- Custom project start / end date
- Optional funding goal
- Multiple ways to end a campaign – financial goals, dates, or unlimited.
- User dashboard to manage profile / promotion details
Basically, the free version will set you up with a basic activity crowdfunding site, it will be missing some key features. This is where premium add-ons come in. They add:
- Unlimited rewards for each promotion
- A theme designed for crowdfunding sites
- PayPal-adaptive payments allow you to split money easily – good for charging commissions
- Stripe Connect Payment
- Email notifications
- More detailed reports
- Google ReCAPTCHA to protect from spam
From reading the list of different features, you can possibly say that if you are serious about creating a crowdfunding site with WordPress, you should take the premium version.
Complete control over the platform
As the owner of the platform you want to have complete control over the platform. This will help protect you from abuse and make everything visible to you. This WordPress crowdfunding plugin gives you control over the signup process, project publishing, withdrawal requests and much more. You can configure these settings from the backend.
I like project approval settings because it allows you to manually approve all promotions, so you have complete control over the type of promotions you want to run on your fundraising platform. You can also set minimum and maximum withdrawal requests from the backend.
Dedicated WordPress theme
You can use this WordPress crowdfunding plugin in any WordPress theme, but to enjoy a smooth experience and get a friendly user interface, the paid version of this plugin provides a special crowdfunding theme inside the package. The plugin integrates well with the theme so you don’t have to worry about buying other themes.
The WP Crowdfunding plugin supports overriding the template, so you can easily customize the style of the page or the solution to the question if you want to make some changes. Your extensions will remain after updating the plugin to a newer version. If you want to know more about how to change the template style, you can check out this link.
User dashboard to manage profile and promotion details
To differentiate your fundraising platform from others, you need to provide your users with a super-friendly front-end environment. This WordPress crowdfunding plugin provides a few predefined pages that will take care of your front end activity. Dashboard, My Account, Campaign List and Adding New Campaigns are the main pages of Frontend Operations. You can create other important pages using shortcodes. Check out these simple shortcodes at this link.
Summary: You must want to put one thing on the dashboard page that lets you see an overview of all your promotions. You can see a summary of the total funds raised and the number of commitments received. There are a few predefined ranges, but you can select a date range to get a specific summary.
My Campaigns: All of your promotions will be listed under My Campaigns. To give you quick access to all promotions, the list is provided on the dashboard page. You can go to the main promotion details page from here. Let’s take a look at the Campaign Overview page.
The Campaign Details page provides four sections: Campaign Stories, Backers List, Updates, and Reviews. All of these are quite self-explanatory – the campaign story displays the details of the campaign, with Becker’s list of supporters who have contributed to the campaign so far. If you want to keep the backer anonymous, you can too.
Campaign Section: This drop-down provides five subcategories – My Campaign, Backed Campaign, Promise Promotion, Bookmarks and Payment. All your promotions will be displayed under My Campaign and you will have access to modify them. There’s an “update” button that lets you post announcements about specific promotions. The “Edit” button lets you make changes to your promotion. Backed campaigns and received promises let you see all the information on them, including order, date, status, total, rewards and actions. The Bookmarks subsection contains a list of campaigns that you have bookmarked from a single page of the campaign. And the submission of the payment shows the total amount of money raised and accepted.
Add New Campaign
You can create a new campaign from this page. All the options on this page are quite self-explanatory but I will highlight the main features. The front-end editor offers the same visual and text editor as the default WordPress editor.
Project customization of this WordPress crowdfunding plugin lets advertisers customize their promotion. It provides interesting features such as the amount offered and the amount of predefined commitment. Users can choose their project goals and thus the project completion method.
This WordPress crowdfunding plugin actually has four project completion methods – Target Goal, Target Date, Target Goal and Date and the campaign never ends.
As mentioned earlier, if campaign owners do not want to display backer information on the site, they must enable “Contributor Anonymous” from the new campaign page.
At the end of the “Add New Campaign” page, the site admin has the freedom to set its own terms and conditions. This is effective in avoiding any legal issues. You can add terms and conditions as well as other details.
This WordPress crowdfunding plugin will have all the money management systems that provide you with WooCommerce, and in addition to these, you will have a native wallet system, PayPal Adaptive Payments, Stripe Connect and Authorize.aim support. These payment methods offer a unique functionality that allows you to automatically deduct commissions from all campaigns on your site.
Native wallet system
All of these special payment methods will charge a certain percentage for each transaction on your site. If you do not want to pay for Stripe / PayPal / AIM or any other third party payment system provider, you can use the Native Wallet system. There is a very useful option in WP Crowdfunding called “Receiver Percentage” which will allow you to determine the commission you (administrator) want to take from the owners of the campaign.
After enabling this, you will automatically save your share to your account.
Stripe Connect payment
WP provides a crowdfunding stripe connection feature that makes it possible for site admins to automatically distribute pledge money to multiple recipients. For example, suppose the site admin wants to charge a commission for any promotion on a crowdfunding site. In that case admin can use Stripe Connect.
The AIM version of Authorize.net is one of the most popular payment gateways because they provide a secure and easy credit card processing system. This advanced gateway provides highest control during checkout which makes it very popular. Approval.IN AIM gives you the freedom to automatically deduct a commission from your users’ promotions.
Unlimited rewards for each campaign
In the world of fundraising, a project reward is a very useful concept that involves some additional benefits of your project with the outcome of the project. With this WordPress crowdfunding plugin, your users can announce unlimited rewards for each promotion. The plugin lets you set a certain amount or a range for rewards. Also, you can choose different styles for award design.
Detailed analytical report
Analytics reporting is a premium feature of WP Crowdfunding that generates various statistical reports based on crowdfunding projects posted on your website. This feature has two tabs: Sales Report and Top Promotions.
Email notifications are one of the premium features of WP Crowdfunding. After installing the Pro version of WP crowdfunding plugin, you will be provided with four email templates. All emails are powered by WooCommerce so you can get all the functionality that any WooCommerce site has to offer. You can customize the email template yourself. You can even set notification settings.
In conclusion, you can start playing with the free version to get started, but if you are interested in creating a fundraising site with WordPress, I encourage you to go for the premium version. You definitely want to have unlimited reward options for all your campaigns, payment gateways like Stripe Connect / PayPal Adaptive or Authorize.aim, Detailed Reporting, etc. The paid version comes with a special theme that is suitable for a crowdfunding platform.